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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Kasilof River Personal Use Salmon Fishery
Permits & Regulations

To participate in any personal use fishery, you must be an Alaska Resident, and possess a valid Sport Fishing License or ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's License.

A permit is required to personal use dipnet for salmon in Kasilof River.

Permits can be obtained from private vendors or at Fish and Game offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Palmer, Soldotna, and Homer.

Households may not have both the Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon Permit and the Kachemak Bay Coho Salmon Set Gillnet Permit.  Households must choose one or the other permit.

Personal use permits are household permits.  This means that only one permit is required per household.  However, all participating members of the household who are 16 years old or older must also have an Alaska resident sport fishing license, ADF&G senior license or ADF&G Disabled Veteran's license to participate, and must be named on the permit.

Permits must be filled in each time you fish

You must record the date, location, and harvest by species each time you fish. You must fill in this information even if you did not catch any fish - write "0" in the space provided for harvest.

The salmon must be recorded on the permit before it is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to record the salmon on the permit is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.

SAMPLE PERMIT - If you went dipnetting/gillnetting and caught fish

SAMPLE PERMIT - If no one went dipnetting or gillnetting

SAMPLE PERMIT - If you went dipnetting/gillnetting and but did not catch any fish

Permits must be returned to ADF&G

Each household permit is also a harvest recording document. You must return your permit to ADF&G at the end of the fishing season, by the date specified on the permit, even if you did not use the permit, and even if you did use the permit but did not catch anything.

Failure to return the permit is a violation of 5 AAC 77.015(c) and may be subject to a $200 fine and loss of your personal use fishing privileges.

Seasons

Kasilof River dipnetting is open from June 25th to August 7th.
Kasilof River gillnetting is open from June 15th to June 24th.

Bag limits

The total yearly harvest out of all the Upper Cook Inlet personal use salmon fisheries (Kenai, Kasilof, and Fish Creek) is 25 salmon and 10 flounder for the permit holder and 10 salmon for each additional household member. The limit is combined for all four fisheries - Kenai dipnetting, Kasilof dipnetting, Kasilof set gillnetting, and Fish Creek dipnetting.

No king salmon may be kept in the Kasilof River dipnet fishery. King salmon caught in the Kasilof River personal use set gillnet fishery may be retained.

These are annual household limits, not a daily limit, or a limit per fishery.

Personal use salmon required to be "marked"

By regulation, you must "mark" salmon harvested in a personal use fishery in which a permit is required by clipping both tips of the tail fin.  Scissors or shears are the best way to cut off  the tips of the tail fin.

The salmon must be marked before the salmon is concealed from plain view, such as put in a cooler, or before the salmon is transported from the fishing site, such as your vehicle. Failure to mark the salmon is a violation, and may be subject to fines and loss of future personal use fishing privileges.


Legal gear: dipnet

In 5 AAC 39.105 of the Alaska Administrative Code, a dipnet is defined as

  1. a bag-shaped net supported on all sides by a rigid frame;
  2. the maximum straight-line distance between any two points on the net frame, as measured between any two points on the net frame, as measured through the net opening, may not exceed five feet;
  3. the depth of the bag must be at least one-half of the greatest straight-line distance, as measured through the net opening;
  4. no portion of the bag may be constructed of webbing that exceeds a stretched measurement of 4.5 inches;
  5. the frame must be attached to a single rigid handle and be operated by hand.

This definition applies statewide, to both salmon and herring/hooligan dipnet fisheries.


Legal gear: set gillnet

5 AAC 39.105 defines a set gillnet as "a gillnet that has been intentionally set, staked, anchored, or otherwise fixed." See the Kasilof River set gillnet fishery web page for additional gear restrictions.

The following requirements for Kasilof River personal use set gillnetting are in addition to the regular requirements of a set gillnet:

  • A Kasilof River personal use set gillnet may not exceed 10 fathoms in length, six inches in mesh size, and 45 meshes in depth, and
  • No part of a Kasilof River set gillnet may be operated within 100 feet of another set gillnet, and
  • A person may not operate more than one set gillnet, and only one set gillnet may be operated per household, and
  • The permit holder shall attend the set gillnet at all times when it is being used to take fish.

There are no inherent rights establishing a set gillnet fishing site. The placement of signs, running lines, stakes, buoys, or dry nets on the beach in anticipation of tides does not constitute any prior right to a net location.

Set or drift gillnet web requirements

Gillnet web in a gillnet used for fishing for salmon must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. The web must contain at least 30 filaments and all filaments must be of equal diameter, or
  2. The web must contain at least six filaments, each of which must be at least 0.20 millimeter in diameter.

Gillnet or pot marking requirements

Each personal use fisherman shall plainly and legibly inscribe his or her first initial, last name, and home address on a keg or buoy attached to a gillnet or pot. A keg or buoy attached to a pot must also be inscribed with the name or US Coast Guard number of the vessel used to operate the pot.

Area open to set gillnetting and dipnetting

Gillnetting is allowed in salt waters only, about 1 mile north and south of the Kasilof River mouth, as defined by ADF&G markers. Fishing is prohibited beyond 1 mile from the mean high water mark, and is also prohibited within the flowing waters or over the stream bed or channel of the Kasilof River at any stage of the tide.

Dipnetting is allowed from ADF&G markers posted on Cook Inlet outside of the mouth of the Kasilof River, to about 1 mile upstream to ADF&G markers.

map showing Kasilof personal use gillnet fishing areas

map showing Kasilof personal use dip net fishing areas

Kasilof River north shore access

To access the north shore, take Kasilof Beach Road, which is off the south end of Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Do not drive through the private property signs at the cannery. You may park your vehicle off the driving surface, but staying within the road right-of-way. Four-wheel drive is recommended due to the softness of the sand off the driving surface.

Please do not park on the sand dunes -- the beach grasses can not survive the impacts.

Kasilof River south shore access

To access the south shore, turn west on North Cohoe Loop Road, off the Sterling Highway. When the pavement turns to the south (left), continue west (straight) on the rough, unpaved dirt road to the beach. The mouth of the Kasilof is approximately 1/4-mile north (right) along the beach. Four-wheel-drive is necessary to get to the mouth on the south shore. Don't drive anything you can't get unstuck, such as a motorhome, down the beach. It is very expensive to get towed.

Dipnetting from a boat

Dipnetting from a boat is allowed during the same open season and times as dipnetting from shore. The same permit, harvest limits, and marking requirements apply. The open area is the same as that of the shore dipnetting area. There are no nearby public boat launches. The nearest public boat launch is just upstream of the Sterling Highway bridge.